Göta Kanal

Boats traveling through the Göta Canal

Göta Kanal – Sweden's largest visitor destination

The Göta Canal was one of the largest civil engineering projects ever undertaken in Sweden. The Canal stretches from Sjötorp on Lake Vänern to Mem on the east coast. It has a length of 190 kilometres and a total of 58 locks. Of this distance, 87 kilometres are man-made. The lakes through which the Canal passes make up 103 kilometres of its length.

History in brief:

Initiator and responsible: Baltzar von Platen

Year of construction: 1810-1832.

Cost: Nine million riksdaler, which corresponds to approximately SEK 12.3 billion (SEK) in 1995 monetary value.

Staff: 58,000 indelta soldiers took part in the work and did approximately seven million days' work. A day's work consisted of twelve hours. The demanding digging was mainly carried out by hand.

A dream dating back 300 years

As early as the sixteenth century, the renowned Bishop Brask in Linköping proposed a Canal across Sweden from the Baltic to the North Sea. Plans for such a waterway came to be discussed many times before Baltzar von Platen finally transformed them into reality.

Historic picture from the canal
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